Enter the immersive arcane experience of Secret Cinema in Los Angeles

Right after the finale of Netflix’s first season Esoteric, the animated adaptation of the global video game phenomenon League of Legends, Los Angeles fans of this world can participate in Zaun’s seedy tummy for the next four weeks at the Esoteric Immersive experience.

What exactly does “immersive experience” mean? Secret Cinema started out as a little new cult in London that hosted small, interactive live events. Today he has become a global fandom catalyst, featuring large environments within all kinds of IPs from Strange things To Star wars. When you buy a ticket, it’s like signing up to be an extra in the world of your favorite movie or TV show. Formally working with the licensee, the Secret Cinema team creates original storylines designed for all levels of audience participation, from simple observation with slight interactions at work with the characters in the story to reveal or discover. elements of the main objectives of the evening.

For Esoteric‘s Immersive Experience, you register to enter the neglected city of Undercity, ruled by the criminal overlord and architect of an independent nation of Zaun, Silco, and his executioner daughter, Jinx. When you purchase your tickets, a custom character in the city is generated for you to use during the two-hour experience when addressed by residents of Zaun or Piltover Enforcers who patrol the space of the event. You can wear whatever you want, but the steam punk and vigilante aesthetic looks great among the production design you’ll be walking around in. There are no cameras allowed inside the room, which encourages being in the moment. It’s a great atmosphere. Also note that it is hot once capacity is reached so dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes as sitting is not part of the evening.

There are two levels of tickets: general admission and VIP. Both work the same, except VIP tickets give you a Zaun Pin to gain special access to Silco’s lair, a drink and food token, and early entry that puts you inside. Zaun before the rest of the participants are introduced about 10 minutes later. Experimentally after, it’s pretty much the same thing.

Everyone starts the night off with an introduction from the show’s Sheriff Marcus of Piltover, who warns that masks are needed all the time (as well as your verified vaccination status) to protect you from “noxious” fumes in Zaun, who is a smart world – building for our time. A tunnel with video wall projections offers the audience an introductory synopsis of Esoteric Act I, with an actual re-enactment of Vi and Powder to set the stage for the night’s dominant story: the reunion of the separated sisters Vi and Powder / Jinx.

Everyone is then welcomed into Zaun and the central bar, The Last Drop. A multi-level set welcomes participants to move freely and interact with actors playing characters from the series. If you really want to dig into all that the night has to offer, your assigned team color and party will be parked in the corners to complete missions like acquiring shimmer, or even distributing it throughout the set to help. Silco’s goals, which contribute to a unique climax to the story that changes depending on the participants each night. Characters like Vi, Jinx, Sevika, Marcus, and random Enforcers will roam and enlist those interested in side missions.

If you’re a wallflower, there’s still a lot to get out of production design and find the secret rooms to explore (there are two of them) and puzzles that are strewn about for all to see. If you’re a carpenter, The Last Drop has a bar with bespoke drinks and pool tables. Sevika will train you in the card games, or you can follow your team guide to get new missions or things to explore all evening. The entire experience lasts 90 minutes and over the last 30 minutes there are several collection points in the center of the set to watch the main characters fight, interact and trigger events that help climax involving Vi. , Jinx and Silco. Everything reflects what happens in the TV series, so if you haven’t finished your binge watch, expect to be spoiled.

Because of the beauty and uniqueness of the world, Esoteric lovers will not be disappointed. The storyline, ambiance and authenticity of the production design allows for a fun immersion. If you’re shy, you might find it a bit intimidating to jump into the action. But the actors are always vigilant to make you enter smoothly into the story if you wish. But you can also just eat, drink, and people-watch if that’s your comfort zone, too. A bit pricey ticket, it’s definitely made for those who want a first-hand experience in the tradition of the show. And it was like a sure night of almost normalcy, to get closer to people again and participate in something that is cumulatively enjoyed. There’s even an impromptu mini dance party that made everyone extremely happy. It doesn’t get any better than that.


Photo by Paul Terry


Photo by Al Overdrive


Photo by Al Overdrive


Photo by Annie Lesser

Tara Bennett is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers film, television, and pop culture for publications such as SFX Magazine, Total Film, SYFY Wire and more. She also wrote books on Sons of Anarchy, Outlander, Fringe, and The Story of Marvel Studios in 2021. You can follow her on Twitter @TaraDBennett.

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